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Ladies! Do Not Date These Type Of Men.
2 years ago
Myrevolving door of exes is a running joke in my family. After high school, I didn’t visit home without a new boyfriend in tow. My family teased me but overall they were supportive and nice to Every-Boyfriend-They-Would-Meet-Once-And-Never-Again.
Though I’ve never been the “blinded by love” type, because of my serial dating, I’m now tuned into things that will be issues down the road. Call me a self-proclaimed expert in red flags due to my misadventures in romance.
Until this point, I’ve only been able to use this superpower for self-deprecating jokes, hilarious (but lurid) tales, and dating advice for my single friends. However, my well-honed douchebag radar will be better used if my mistakes help others from getting involved these stereotypical types of toxic boyfriends:
1. The Hulk
A picture frame went whizzing past my head and smashed on the wall behind me. The glass splintered, and a chunk hurtled through the air where it embedded in my foot. My red-faced boyfriend yelled, cursed, and slammed the door, leaving me alone while blood pooled around my foot. It’s hard to remember what he was mad about thistime.
You know this guy. When you first meet, you’ll believe he has an energy about him — magnetism, perhaps.
Reality check, though? He’s just angry.
His temper matches the Hulk and it doesn’t take much to set him off. He’ll punch walls or get in fights — for reasons big or small. And if a guy looks at you or even breathes in your direction? He’s outraged. While he may think he’s “protecting your honor,” you’ll soon discover the roller coaster of emotion is tiresome and annoying.
Guys like this think they’re a big man but underneath that anger is fear. Regardless of the reason, this kind of uncontrolled and misdirected anger is a ticking time bomb. Don’t get caught in the Hulk’s wake of destruction lest you become a victim too.
2. The Sloth
My next boyfriend and I had been together for six months and things were going great… for the most part. We got along and never fought. I was happy, and he treated me great.
So what was the problem then?
Six months together and still no job. No car. Not going to school. He doesn’t have a hobby, hasn’t read a book in years, and he answers questions about future plans with indifference.
There’s no drive, no ambition, and Mr.
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While The Sloth is a mostly functional adult, sticking with this guy will suck the life out of you. The longer you stay the more he’ll take the wind out of your sails and keep you both floating aimlessly in the doldrums. Plus, when you ditch him, he’ll be so indifferent it was like you were never there to begin with.
3. The Leech
The next boyfriend was perfect — smart, funny, and good-looking. Of course, I’ve only known him a few days but we’re having fun getting to know one another. One day, however, he comes over to my apartment… and never leaves.
I went to work one day only to find The Leech sleeping in my bed when I got home! I barely knew the poor guy, but he hung around like a lost puppy for three days until I politely informed him to get out of my house.
Similar to The Sloth, The Leech’s identity is in flux. Your friends are now his friends.
The Leech latches on for dear life and can grow controlling using his well rehearsed manipulation tactics. He doesn’t want you to go out with your girlfriends tonight. What are you wearing? When will you be back? He checks your phone and worries about whose Instagram story you’ve watched. Because The Leech doesn’t have much going on in his world, he tries to hijack yours. Thank u, next.
4. The Kid
I’ve fallen sucker to The Kid several times. I love to interpret blatant signs of immaturity as a sign I can swoop in, play teacher, and “fix” things. I even used to proclaim, “I love a good project.” Ew. This was both self-aware and incredibly stupid.
Note that The Kid doesn’t have to be younger than you. It’s a catch-all term for many things. He might be naïve, immature, inexperienced, or just plain dumb. He loves to tell stories about his “glory days” because he has no new stories to tell.
This guy was my kryptonite. There’s this wonderful bright-eyed and bushy-tailed aura around them. They’re fun and energetic , whereas I’m not. They like to live fast and do exciting things — I like to stay home and read books. These relationships started fast, exploding like a firework, only to fizzle out just as quickly when I realized I didn’t want to be their mom or teacher. If you’re starting out a relationship, and they’re already two volumes behind, it’s time to close the book and move on.
During college, one of my boyfriends professed his love for me. There was just one problem… he knew nothing about me. We’d gone out a few times, and to be fair, I knew a lot about him — only because he ever talked about himself! Our first date I wrote it off as nerves, but by the third date, it became a running joke to count the number of questions he asked me. I also tallied the number of times our conversation moved beyond anyone but him. I didn’t need two hands to keep count.
Everyone knows what a narcissist is but seeing one firsthand was simultaneously hilarious and sobering. One evening we sat next to a lake while he talked about how great he was. Throughout the one-sided conversation he stared lovingly at his reflection, not bothering to notice anything else for a solid 15 minutes. It was like watching the Roman myth of Narcissus play out in real life. I kept looking for a hidden camera certain this was all a prank. But it wasn’t, and I learned a valuable lesson: If you find yourself with this guy, just remember you’ll always come in second. And not for another woman, but to his ego.
6. The Pretend Friend
The “Friend Zone” sucks, which is why you should always be up front about your intentions. I made it clear from day one I wanted to remain friends and wasn’t interested romantically. He says he wants the same and I relax. After all, I love to be around him. We can talk and laugh about anything. But the truth always slips out and was right in front of me — he wants more.
Late one night, The Pretend Friend tries flirting and I grow uncomfortable, so I try letting him down easy. I’m worried because I don’t want to lose him as a friend, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. Yet, I’ve also had to turn him down so many times already, I can feel my resolve wear. Maybe I should just give the relationship a whirl? He’s great, after all. Deep down, I wish we could remain friends but if I have to pretend to like him romantically so he’ll stay, well…
Whenever I have a vulnerable moment, he’s there to swoop in to take advantage of my exposed emotions. Whenever he’s feeling brave, he takes another crack to wear me down. On my end, it’s a genuine friendship, but on his? The Pretend Friend is biding his time for the relationship to materialize while using underhanded tactics. The friendship is nothing more than a stepping stone and I’m the prize.
This one hurt the most.
The Right Kind Of Imperfect
My husband and I were best friends for several years before the relationship turned romantic. I love to joke I knew everything that would annoy me beforehand so there weren’t any surprises. While a joke that saying also held true. While no relationship is perfect (and every good relationship takes work), dating is the way of finding your right kind of imperfect.
We each have our own issues, so the key for me was to ask, “What can I live with?” I learned that if you go into a relationship expecting to change someone, you’ll always end up disappointed. The Lazy Guy never turned into a go-getter. I could never salvage the “friendship” with the Pretend Friend. A great question to ask is, “If nothing changed, would I still want to be in this relationship?”
The answer to these questions are different for everyone. We each have different non-negotiables. Boyfriend with stinky feet? Not great, but I can live with it. Yet, for someone else, this might be a total no-go. Family drama or baby mama baggage? Not ideal, but not worth throwing the towel in.
I’m also more than aware that making a list may sound calloused, but I’m mature enough to realize I probably made someone’s Do Not Date list. I could be a few ex-boyfriend’s “Nag” or “Crazy Bitch.” I’m sure I’ve been the villain in a few stories. Perhaps I’m even one guy’s “Thank God I Dodged That Bullet.” I wasn’t their kind of imperfect and was young and immature — and that’s okay. The failures and lessons learned made me into the person I am today.
The important thing to remember is that when you ignore toxic smoke signals in a relationship, you stand to get burned. Instead, I hope that we each learn where to see smoke — and those of us who know what it leads to — are brave enough to yell “Fire!”
Written by Kayt Molina
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